Why is this requirement called the “Raven”?

Religiously-affiliated peer and aspirant colleges frequently describe portions of their curriculum using names associated with their heritage.  The raven has long been associated with the life of Benedict.  In St. Gregory’s account of the Life and Miracles of St. Benedict, he describes how a raven flew away with a loaf of poisoned bread intended for Benedict.  Ever since, many depictions of St. Benedict are accompanied by a raven, including the prominent statue in the plaza outside of the SJU Stephen B. Humphrey theatre.  See below for photographs of Benedictine ravens currently displayed on our campuses.  While there are contemporary non-Benedictine connotations with ravens, one goal of a liberal arts education is to help students to see things in a new light.  Therefore, the name of this designation itself provides a first step in educating students about an aspect of our Benedictine heritage.  It begins the conversation.

Raven images at CSB/SJU